Costa Rica Coffee Guide

VIDEO: Costa Rica Coffee Cupping: This is How Its Done

May 24, 2020

Ever wondered how the experts know good café when they taste it?

When judges traveled to Costa Rica from all over the world to award the Cup of Excellence prize this month, they didn’t just go around the room taking polite sips. Judges used a process called cupping to find the country’s best coffee.

Cupping involves grinding, smelling, brewing and then slurping (yes, slurping) coffee. When done correctly, the slurping pulls the coffee evenly across the tongue. This lets cuppers taste the sweet, sour, bitter and savory flavors. It also lets the cupper get a better sense of the coffee’s aroma.

Glen Arce, a barista at Viva Café in San José’s Barrio California, gave The Tico Times a step-by-step cupping demonstration. Click below to watch the video.

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